The first big trade during the draft occurred around pick nine when the Pittsburgh Penguins traded winger James Neal to the Nashville Predators. Nashville sent back to the Penguins Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.
Nashville has been looking for a scoring punch for quite some time. Peter Laviolette's teams always seem to play in high scoring systems. This move gives the Predators a top six winger to fit into their system.
The question, though, is who will set him up?
Neal has a tendency to disappear offensively without a playmaking center. One has to assume that this isn't the only move that Nashville is going to make to fix their scoring problem.
What benefit does this trade make for Pittsburgh?
On the surface, it appears that they get a slight cap relief - Hornqvist has a cap hit of $4.25 million compared to Neal's $5 million. They also get a relatively similarly aged winger and a young RFA center. So though on top it looks like they save, the fact that they have another guy to sign to a deal probably doesn't equate to a salary cap saving.
Guess Dallas Stars fans can stop talking about that Neal for Alex Goligoski deal now, right?